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E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
08-08-2018, 07:24 PM
Post: #1
E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
How are the E90 automatic gearboxes?
Are they fail proof or will they also eventually have issues like those in the E46's?
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08-08-2018, 07:45 PM
Post: #2
RE: E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
a quick search shows that the E90 used the 6HP gearbox, where the E46 used the older 5HP.

off wikipedia on the 6HP:

"Problems with this transmission are well known. This transmission locks up the torque converter in all gears, increasing wear. Combined with a sealed transmission pan and "lifetime fluid", some people have experienced catastrophic transmission failure.

There are also problems with the valve block and solenoids. When this failure starts to occur, shift quality and speed, torque transfer and even loss of ability to engage gears can occur. These problems led Volkswagen AG to extend the warranty on all of their vehicles equipped with this transmission to 100,000 miles or 10 years"
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08-08-2018, 08:12 PM
Post: #3
RE: E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
(08-08-2018 07:45 PM)kilotango Wrote:  a quick search shows that the E90 used the 6HP gearbox, where the E46 used the older 5HP.

off wikipedia on the 6HP:

"Problems with this transmission are well known. This transmission locks up the torque converter in all gears, increasing wear. Combined with a sealed transmission pan and "lifetime fluid", some people have experienced catastrophic transmission failure.

There are also problems with the valve block and solenoids. When this failure starts to occur, shift quality and speed, torque transfer and even loss of ability to engage gears can occur. These problems led Volkswagen AG to extend the warranty on all of their vehicles equipped with this transmission to 100,000 miles or 10 years"

I thought the gearbox in the E90's would be much more reliable.
I considered an E90 because if I get an E46 and the gearbox fails, it'll take the total cost to around 70 or 80k, which is the price of some E90's.

(E46's range from 50-60k and i've heard a gearbox repair is around 20k)
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08-08-2018, 08:34 PM
Post: #4
RE: E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
(08-08-2018 08:12 PM)MHN Wrote:  
(08-08-2018 07:45 PM)kilotango Wrote:  a quick search shows that the E90 used the 6HP gearbox, where the E46 used the older 5HP.

off wikipedia on the 6HP:

"Problems with this transmission are well known. This transmission locks up the torque converter in all gears, increasing wear. Combined with a sealed transmission pan and "lifetime fluid", some people have experienced catastrophic transmission failure.

There are also problems with the valve block and solenoids. When this failure starts to occur, shift quality and speed, torque transfer and even loss of ability to engage gears can occur. These problems led Volkswagen AG to extend the warranty on all of their vehicles equipped with this transmission to 100,000 miles or 10 years"

I thought the gearbox in the E90's would be much more reliable.
I considered an E90 because if I get an E46 and the gearbox fails, it'll take the total cost to around 70 or 80k, which is the price of some E90's.

(E46's range from 50-60k and i've heard a gearbox repair is around 20k)

with any auto, i think it mostly depends on your specific car and how it was treated before you bought it. i can confirm that the E46 gearbox is about 20-25k to recon at ZF Germiston. ZF are active on this forum btw, im sure you can try speaking to them on their experiences with the E46 and E90 gearboxes. Thumbs

just be aware though, that E90's have their own unique issues to deal with too. i created a post about a colleagues boot getting stuck closed on a LCI not long ago, and because BMW removed the mechanical key lock for the boot, and didnt include rear seats that fold down as standard.. it ended up being a complete F up.

E46 imo seems to the be the lesser of the two evils.
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08-08-2018, 08:54 PM
Post: #5
RE: E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
(08-08-2018 08:34 PM)kilotango Wrote:  
(08-08-2018 08:12 PM)MHN Wrote:  
(08-08-2018 07:45 PM)kilotango Wrote:  a quick search shows that the E90 used the 6HP gearbox, where the E46 used the older 5HP.

off wikipedia on the 6HP:

"Problems with this transmission are well known. This transmission locks up the torque converter in all gears, increasing wear. Combined with a sealed transmission pan and "lifetime fluid", some people have experienced catastrophic transmission failure.

There are also problems with the valve block and solenoids. When this failure starts to occur, shift quality and speed, torque transfer and even loss of ability to engage gears can occur. These problems led Volkswagen AG to extend the warranty on all of their vehicles equipped with this transmission to 100,000 miles or 10 years"

I thought the gearbox in the E90's would be much more reliable.
I considered an E90 because if I get an E46 and the gearbox fails, it'll take the total cost to around 70 or 80k, which is the price of some E90's.

(E46's range from 50-60k and i've heard a gearbox repair is around 20k)

with any auto, i think it mostly depends on your specific car and how it was treated before you bought it. i can confirm that the E46 gearbox is about 20-25k to recon at ZF Germiston. ZF are active on this forum btw, im sure you can try speaking to them on their experiences with the E46 and E90 gearboxes. Thumbs

just be aware though, that E90's have their own unique issues to deal with too. i created a post about a colleagues boot getting stuck closed on a LCI not long ago, and because BMW removed the mechanical key lock for the boot, and didnt include rear seats that fold down as standard.. it ended up being a complete F up.

E46 imo seems to the be the lesser of the two evils.

Some people say the E90's are problematic or "disposable". Especially the 320i. I've read good things about the 320d though.

Thanks for the info.

I've heard a 2nd hand gearbox would cost around 7k?
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10-08-2018, 08:35 AM
Post: #6
RE: E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
It also depends how and where the car was driven. A car in the city will put more strain on the gearbox due to frequent changes than a car used on long trips. Ask ZF to have a look or if you really concern, go for a manual.
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10-08-2018, 11:53 AM
Post: #7
RE: E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
The e90’s box is a lot better that the e46 auto box. The e46 had a GM auto vox which had a lot more issues than the e90’s ZF Box.

The e46 auto box is horrible to drive with IMO anywayFencelook

Current:
e90 330d M-sport Auto
Opel Corsa Utility 1.4
Suzuki Tl1000

[Image: img_1954_7594118472.jpg]

Ex:
E46 320d Auto
E46 320d Manual
Kawasaki ZXR400
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10-08-2018, 11:58 AM
Post: #8
RE: E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
(10-08-2018 11:53 AM)schalk320d Wrote:  The e90’s box is a lot better that the e46 auto box. The e46 had a GM auto vox which had a lot more issues than the e90’s ZF Box.

The e46 auto box is horrible to drive with IMO anywayFencelook

there were a rare few e46s with zf auto box.

In garage
01 BMW E46 330i 5-speed manual
95 Nissan 1400 bakkie
03 BMW E46 318i N42 Manual Sold
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10-08-2018, 02:20 PM
Post: #9
RE: E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
Generally old auto boxes were bad, doesnt matter the manufacturer. You think to yourself when you driving them that you could easily do a better job. They dont adapt and change gears at a few fixed rpms in the rev range. Go for a manual. Thumbs
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10-08-2018, 02:27 PM
Post: #10
RE: E90 vs E46 Automatic Gearboxes
my E46 330i is auto , i enjoy it, no problems and she's on 180 000km, still smooth.

in sales so i drive quite a bit , mostly keep her in D mode and they are a bit lazy, but i didnt buy it to jaag it , i dont think i would sell her in the near future - auto is smooth and saves me a lot of manual labour.

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